Published by Swerve on May 30th 2017
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy
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Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.
Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.
Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.
Shacking Up is the first book I’ve read by Helena Hunting, and I picked a good one to start of with.
I adored everything about Ruby, especially her bawdy sense of humor, feistiness, and independence. She’s a breath of fresh air in a social circle filled with stuck-up aristocrats. Her rebelliousness against her upbringing and her father’s expectations makes her easy to relate to. Bancroft (AKA Bane) also comes from money, but he doesn’t conform 100% either. It’s easy to fall in love with Bane. He’s extremely supportive of Ruby, gentle, non-judgmental, sexy, and… Oh hell. I’ll just go ahead and take one Bancroft to go, please. Clothing optional.
His now lopsided grin is making my panties reevaluate their importance in my life.
Ruby pet sits for Bane while he’s away on business, and their mutually beneficial business arrangement turns into a friendship with a hefty side of sexual tension. The fact that they are separated for five weeks allows their chemistry to grow at a steady pace without them jumping each other’s bones right away. I loved their flirting, texting, and video chats.
The story is chock full of Ruby’s hilarious antics and inner thoughts, but Bancroft’s pet ferret, Francesca, is also a real scene stealer. The later half of the book contains plenty of sexy times and shows off Bancroft’s fluency in dirty talking.
This heated romantic comedy is saucy and sweet. If you want laughter, a heroine you can root for, and a hero you can swoon over, Shacking Up has you covered.
I’m hoping we get to learn the full story behind Ruby’s best friend, Amie, and Amie’s fiancé next. Until then, I’ll be looking for more Helena Hunting books to read.
Recommended for fans of:
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
Q&A with Helena Hunting
1. Describe Shacking Up using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter).
Sexy, quirky, with enough sexual tension to light your underwear on fire.
2. Where did you get inspiration for the character’s names, particularly Bancroft aka Bane?
Once I met a police officer (I wasn’t doing anything illegal) who introduced himself as Bancroft. I thought that was his last name, so I sassily introduced myself by my last name as well. Then he corrected me, telling me that his first name was Bancroft, and I felt obviously ridiculous. He was a mammoth man. He practically had to duck through doorways, so I put that one in the name bank for a rainy day. I also thought it was rather hilarious that it could be shortened to Bane—as in the bane of my existence, which we know Bancroft certainly is not. Ruby is a spunky name and I thought reflected the heroine’s fiery personality.
3. Shacking Up is hilarious! How easily does the banter between the characters come for you? Do you ever struggle writing the humor in your books?
With Ruby and Bane the banter came easily because there weren’t a lot of social constraints or limitations for them. At the beginning they’re working under the premise of a business arrangement, so the pressure is off and Ruby isn’t really one to hold back,. Neither is Bane for that matter. I have such a fun time creating off the wall, sometimes sexually tense scenes, especially with these two.
4. Do you ever make yourself laugh when writing a scene?
Yes. I feel weird saying that, but there are times when I’m imagining what is happening as I’m writing and thinking “this is just ridiculous”. My hope is that if I think it’s ridiculous, so will other people, and it will inspire the same reaction. Francesca certainly helped make it a lot easier to fit in fun, light-hearted situations.
5. What inspired Bane’s exotic choice in pets?
Ferrets are freaking adorable, but they are menaces if they’re left to their own devices. They’re also a lot like dogs and cats, but they require a different kind of care, the fact that they’re illegal in NYC also helped. As for Tiny—I think a lot of people would be reluctant to take care of a giant spider, no matter how cool they are as pets. I felt like both of them would be lend for some funny situations.
6. The heroes in your Pucked series are all hockey stars, and Bane in Shacking Up is an ex-rugby player. Is it safe to say you have a thing for athletes?
I guess you could say I have a fascination with athletes. That level of physical fitness takes an extraordinary amount of discipline, plus STAMINA!!! More than just being an athlete, I have an affinity for heroes who show loyalty and determination and who are just as much about brain as brawn.
7. Ruby is a bit of a rebel, defying her family to go after her dreams. What do you love most about her?
I love that despite things not always going her way, she refuses to take the easy way out. Our paths are not always linear and Ruby is very willing to make concessions where she needs to in order to prove to herself and her family that she can attain her goals.
8. Why are Bane and Ruby so perfect for each other?
They’re both very goal oriented people with the same core values. Ruby is a firecracker and Bane needs someone with that level of sass to challenge him. For Ruby, Bane is an inherent caretaker, BUT he tries not to force that care on her which is something she can appreciate.
9. Are there any books or authors you’re really excited about right now?
I’m excited for Ann Marie Walkers BLACK TIE OPTIONAL. I recently devoured Jana Aston’s Grind Me Series and Debra Anastasia is writing the most awesome book right now, and I can’t wait until it’s ready for public consumption.